Match of the round
Mt Gravatt vs. Broadbeach. Live blog: http://aflq.com.au/mt-gravatt-vs-broadbeach/
An eye to the future
After a dominant U17 state series, talented young Queenlsander and member of the Gold Coast SUNS Academy, Cooper Portelli will be playing for Labrador this week in their clash against Sandgate.
Portelli, a hardworking tall midfielder with serious ball gathering ability, will come up against fellow U17 state representative Cody Stackleberg, who’ll be suiting up for the Hawks.
The abundance of young talent sets up the Labrador versus Sandgate clash, as one to watch for those who like to keep an eye on the future of Queensland footy. The Hawks will field a staggering eleven players still eligible for the QAFL rising star, while the Tigers will play five.
The Tigers come into the game as heavy favorites and remain a strong chance to go through the season undefeated.
The sky lounge
Lion Jackson Emblem is having a great back end to the year and looks to be hitting form at the right time with Palm Beach getting some players back over the next few weeks. The big defender is a key pillar of the Lions defense and along with Liam McNeven, loom as important pieces in coach Chad Owens’ plans to nullify opposition forwards in the 2017 QAFL finals.
The danger zone
After beating Surfers Paradise by 59 points last week, Palm Beach Currumbin is set to take on seventh placed Wilston Grange. As the Lions return to their winning ways, their opposition each week will continue to be on the other side of the cannon. This time it’s Wilston Grange, who have been under the pump due to injury and player availability.
The Gorillas still have plenty of positives to take out of the season with five rounds remaining. They have an opportunity to field more youngsters and the likes of Harry Milford, Jonah Farry and Jordan McIvor-Clark are all showing the future is bright.
Under the radar
Lions Academy player Ben Sloan showed some good signs as a bottom ager in the 2017 U18 Academy Series, displaying athleticism and good hands. Sloan has been ticking along well for Mt Gravatt in the past three games and has netted four goals, after also playing some NEAFL footy. Sloan, as well as his younger teammates Zach Stone, Brendan Telford and Joel Leahy will be important on Saturday, when the Vultures meet the Cats.
Broadbeach look well stocked and their big win last week over the Western Magpies, suggests they’re as dangerous as their top four status shows.
Morningside coach Steve Wildschut will be enjoying the bye this round, so phoned in to give some of his thoughts on the games.
It’s an interesting round this week with some heavy favorites at the outset, leaving an opening for some unexpected upsets. According to Wildschut though, the task will be too steep for the Hawks and Gorillas who’ll be taking on the Tigers and Lions respectively. Wildschut has long suspected the possibility of an undefeated Labrador season.
“When we played them Fowler was back from Southport, so they had a three pronged attack (Fowler, Hall, Retzlaff), that no one will go with, it doesn’t matter who you think you are, if those guys are available come finals – they will be undefeated,” said Wildschut.
Elsewhere, Broadbeach will take on Mt Gravatt in the match of the round.
“That’ll be an absolute cracking game,” said the Morningside coach.
“I don’t know which way to go, Broady have found some form recently, but Mt Gravatt have really hit their straps and with Andrew Smith in their side they look like a totally different (challenge).”
The Western Magpies will be aiming to get back on the winners list against the Demons, after losing last week to a strong Broadbeach lineup.
“I’d back Surfers down there mate,” said Wildschut.
“I reckon they’re a five goal better side on their home deck.”
Mt Gravatt vs. Broadbeach
Download Footy Record: Vultures vs Cats Round 14
Sandgate vs. Labrador
Download Footy Record: Hawks vs Tigers Round 14
Surfers Paradise vs. Western Magpies
Download Footy Record: Demons vs Magpies Round 14
Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Wilston Grange
Download Footy Record: Lions vs Gorillas Round 14
By Sean Melrose